Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people worldwide. Uncontrolled cases can cause blindness, kidney failure, heart disease and other serious conditions.
Before diabetes is diagnosed, there is a period where blood sugar levels are high but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
Eating sugary foods and refined carbs can put at-risk individuals on the fast track to developing diabetes.Your body rapidly breaks these foods down into small sugar molecules, which are absorbed into your bloodstream.
The resulting rise in blood sugar stimulates your pancreas to produce insulin, a hormone that helps sugar get out of the bloodstream and into your body’s cells.
Many studies have shown a link between the frequent consumption of sugar or refined carbs and the risk of diabetes. What’s more, replacing them with foods that have less of an effect on blood sugar may help reduce your risk.Performing physical activity on a regular basis may help prevent diabetes.
Working out more frequently seems to lead to improvements in insulin response and function. One study in people at risk of diabetes found that burning more than 2,000 calories weekly via exercise was required to achieve these benefits (14).
Therefore, it’s best to choose physical activity that you enjoy, can engage in regularly and feel you can stick with long-term.Water is by far the most natural beverage you can drink.
What’s more, sticking with water most of the time helps you avoid beverages that are high in sugar, preservatives and other questionable ingredients.Sugary beverages like soda and punch have been linked to an increased risk of both type 2 diabetes and latent autoimmune diabetes of adults (LADA).
Although not everyone who develops type 2 diabetes is overweight or obese, the majority are.What’s more, those with prediabetes tend to carry excess weight in their midsection and around abdominal organs like the liver. This is known as visceral fat.
They have consistently been shown to lower blood sugar and insulin levels, increase insulin sensitivity and reduce other diabetes risk factors .In a 12-week study, prediabetic individuals consumed either a low-fat or low-carb diet. Blood sugar dropped by 12% and insulin dropped by 50% in the low-carb group.
In the low-fat group, meanwhile, blood sugar dropped by only 1% and insulin dropped by 19%. Thus, the low-carb diet had better results on both counts .
In a study of obese men with prediabetes who followed a ketogenic diet, average fasting blood sugar decreased from 118 to 92 mg/dl, which is within the normal range. Participants also lost weight and improved several other health markers .
Whether or not you decide to follow a low-carb diet, it’s important to avoid large portions of food to reduce the risk of diabetes, especially if you are overweight.Eating too much food at one time has been shown to cause higher blood sugar and insulin levels in people at risk of diabetes .
On the other hand, decreasing portion sizes may help prevent this type of response.A two-year study in prediabetic men found that those who reduced food portion sizes and practiced other healthful nutrition behaviors had a 46% lower risk of developing diabetes than the men who made no lifestyle changes .
Observational studies have shown a consistent link between sedentary behavior and the risk of diabetes.A large analysis of 47 studies found that people who spent the highest amount of time per day engaged in sedentary behavior had a 91% increased risk of developing diabetes.
Getting plenty of fiber is beneficial for gut health and weight management.Studies in obese, elderly and prediabetic individuals have shown that it helps keep blood sugar and insulin levels low .
Fiber can be divided into two broad categories: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber absorbs water, whereas insoluble fiber does not.In the digestive tract, soluble fiber and water form a gel that slows down the rate at which food is absorbed. This leads to a more gradual rise in blood sugar levels .
However, insoluble fiber has also been linked to reductions in blood sugar levels and a decreased risk of diabetes, although exactly how it works is not clear.Vitamin D is important for blood sugar control.
Children who took the vitamin D supplements had a 78% lower risk of developing type 1 diabetes than children who received less than the recommended amount of vitamin D .
Controlled studies have shown that when people who are deficient take vitamin D supplements, the function of their insulin-producing cells improves, their blood sugar levels normalize and their risk of diabetes reduces significantly
Good food sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and cod liver oil. In addition, sun exposure can increase vitamin D levels in the blood.One clear step you can take to improve your health is to minimize your consumption of processed foods..
Another review of several studies that included caffeinated tea and coffee found similar results, with the largest risk reduction in women and overweight men.Coffee and tea have antioxidants known as polyphenols that may help protect against diabetes .
There are a few herbs that may help increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the likelihood of diabetes progression.Curcumin is a component of the bright gold spice turmeric, which is one of the main ingredients in curries.
It has strong anti-inflammatory properties and has been used in India for centuries as part of Ayurvedic medicine.